A LED light-based treatment to combat a physiopathology that weakens tomato plants: this is the goal of the experiments - co-organised by C-LED and Urbinati Srl - being performed at a greenhouse in Casalmaggiore, in the province of Cremona.
Everything stems from a request made by experts at the Cortenuova greenhouse, a vegetable grower specialised in tomatoes, chicory and onion growing. After detecting a malaise of unknown origin that mainly affects the stem, the growers wondered whether technology might be able to help prevent situations critical to the health of these solanaceae and, consequently, avoid any resulting economic damage.
C-Led and Urbinati are conducting experimental tests to counter the this effect. The problem is largely due to a combination of adverse environmental conditions such as the climate, the nutrient levels, incorrect use of crop protection or herbicides, altered atmospheric gas ratios or physical plant damage caused by weather events. Since the exact cause of the disease is unclear, the farm has asked to work with C-Led and Urbinati to test whether use of LEDs may help prevent the onset of the problem.
C-LED, very much enjoying the development and implementation of indoor farm lighting technology, has welcomed the opportunity to test new solutions that may help solve customers' problems. In this specific case, the main goal is to limit the onset of physiopathologies and, therefore, obtain healthier, stronger, more compact plants.
The experimentation is being conducted in a greenhouse with a surface area of just under 2,000 square metres. Here, 150 W C-LED Toplight Plus lamps have been installed over a 10-metre span. They have been connected in series thanks to the 'through-cable' power supply system, which simplifies the wiring, and positioned on irrigation bars supplied by Urbinati, producer of automatic systems for the horticultural and nursery sectors.
The lamps, which emit a light spectrum specially designed by C-LED researchers, are moved at regular intervals by sliding them over the plants so they radiate them evenly and consistently. The main goal of the test is to stimulate plant transpiration, thus reducing humidity in the base sections of the collar and aiding the flow of water and nutrients into the plant tissues.
"In this way we believe it's possible to stimulate plant transpiration, thus reducing humidity in the base sections of the collar and aiding the flow of water and nutrients into the plant tissues", they explain. "The main expected results are a reduction in the percentage of physiopathology onset and healthier, more robust, compact plants."
To be continued!